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June 02, 2008

Comments

reason

I'm absolutely sure that the exception was the post-war period, not the modern period. You are asking the question upside down.

ad

"the proportion of births outside marriage has risen in European countries untouched by Thatcherism."

Wasn't that proportion going up before Thatcher? It's an impressive cause that can have effects that precede it in time.

Andrew Duffin

Wouldn't welfarism be a simpler explanation?

If the state will support you with no questions asked, why go through all that awkward hassle of earning a living?

The rest follows.

Dipper

There are numerous studies of breeding strategies and "breeding economics" from the bird world which shed light on this issue. "Cuckoos, Cowbirds, and other Cheats", By N. R. Davies (T & A D Poyser) is an excellent example.

We are not birds, of course, but perhaps a visiting Martian would not think the distinction is as wide as we like to think.

reason

Andrew Duffin...
Don't you remember My Fair Lady - "I'm getting married in the morning"... unmarried parents is nothing new.

reason

Andrew Duffin...
it also fails to explain why teenage pregnancy in the USA is the highest in the Western world.

Chris Williams

The British state has been supporting single mothers for at least a couple of hundred years.

Shuggy

"Wouldn't welfarism be a simpler explanation?"

No - this would be the one you *prefer*. If welfarism was the problem, you'd have a hard time explaining the sociology of the family in the USA.

Jennie

I reckon it's more to do with the fact that domestic violence and rape within marriage are illegal as of 1974, coupled with the liberalisation of divorce laws in the sixties and beyond. Women are less likely to put up with shitty relationships for the sake of the child now.

Shuggy

"Women are less likely to put up with shitty relationships for the sake of the child now."

Agreed - but this isn't mutually exclusive from the point Chris made: women are less economically dependent and therefore don't *need* to put up with shitty relationships.

Plus, let's restore a little gender-balance here, sister. At least part of the reason the divorce rate has increased is down to the fact that some of us men - y'know, the minority of us that have never raped or beaten the mother of our children - aren't prepared to put up with shitty relationships either. As if men were the sole cause of shitty relationships. Honestly!

Shuggy

"The British state has been supporting single mothers for at least a couple of hundred years."

Just spotted this. Where did you do your history? I'd ask for my money back, if I were you. Pray describe the welfare state and what it's provision for single mothers was like back in 1808.

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